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The University of Southampton

NPCG1016 Applied Health Sciences

Module Overview

This module will enable you to continue to develop the understanding of scientific principles gained in Foundations of Health Sciences, and will enable you to develop an understanding of the sociological and psychological principles that are relevant to nursing

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

By drawing on relevant sociological and psychological theory and research, greater insight will be gained into the needs, experiences and behaviours of the patient/client, family/significant others, yourself and colleagues in health and social care contexts. You will begin to apply relevant knowledge to holistic care and management to individuals and/or groups for whom you are providing care as nurses or midwives.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss the contribution of psychological and sociological theory/research to comprehending peoples' behaviour and experiences (patient/client, family, self and colleagues) in health and social care settings
  • Apply your understanding of therapeutic communication with patients/clients and families and provide appropriate education and advice from a sound knowledge base
  • Discuss the relevant psychological and sociological theories related to the changes experienced over the life span


Sociological theory relevant to health and social care contexts • Socialisation • Health inequalities • Class, poverty and welfare • Families • Sick role • Culture and Racism • Work and unemployment Communication • Principles of therapeutic communication Psychological theory relevant to health and social care contexts • Enhancing quality of life and psychological wellbeing • Self-perception, understanding and Self-identity • Social influences and interaction in the health care context (Obedience, persuasion, conformity ) • Psychological influences on how people behave, experience and understand what is happening to them (including Sense of coherence,), self-efficacy, Locus of control.)Psychological and social development across the life span • Attitudes, values and beliefs • Models of Health beliefs and behaviours • Effect of learning and memory in the health care context • Theories of loss and grief and bereavement • Stress and coping in health and illness • Supporting the patient/client, family or significant others during engagement with health and social care services • Psychological theories of pain Loss grief and bereavement • Communicating with patients/clients/families/significant others experiencing loss Pathophysiology and Psychological theories of pain Factors influencing nutrition (profession-specific) • Influence of nutrition on health and well-being • Effects of socio-economic status, education, age and illness on nutrition • Effects of poor nutrition Pharmacology applied to practice (profession-specific) • Commonly used drugs – actions, doses, side effects, contraindications • Drug effects across the lifespan • Polypharmacy • Drug/nutrient/herb interactions • Iatrogenics • Medicines’ management for health professionals

Special Features

For features such as field trips, information should be included as to how students with special needs will be enabled to benefit from this or an equivalent experience. This module philosophy is underpinned by educational principles of constructivism: Learning is an active process in which the learner uses sensory input and constructs meaning out of it and that learning involves language: the language we use influences learning. Learning is a social activity: our learning is intimately associated with our connection with other human beings.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module will use a variety of learning and teaching strategies to cover generic and profession specific topics such as: • Technology enhanced learning • Lectures • Learning groups • Guided study Students will be encouraged to access current research to support their study. Students will be provided with focused activities and will work in small profession-specific groups assist in applying theory to practice.

Follow-up work10
Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Completion of assessment task50
Wider reading or practice30
Total study time134

Resources & Reading list

French D, Vedhara K, Kaptein ADA and Weinmand J (2010). Health Psychology. 

Rana, D. & Upton, D. (2008). Psychology for Nurses. 

Rogers A and Pilgrim D (2010). A Sociology of Mental Health and Illness. 

Goodman, B. (2015). Psychology and Sociology in Nursing. 

Walker, J. Payne, S, Jarrett, N. & Ley T. (2012). Psychology for Nurses and the Caring Professions. 

Ogden J (2004). Health Psychology. 

Sheaff M (2005). Sociology and Health Care: an introduction for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals. 


Assessment Strategy

Group Presentations: Consider that you are planning a conversation with a service user (based on a case study) to provide appropriate health education/advice. In your groups, provide a 15-minute presentation that includes an exploration of the following: 1. The service users past medical history and its importance in providing relevant education and advice. 2. The education/advice given to the service user and underlying evidence. 3. An appreciation of the sociological and psychological theories that will guide your conversation in terms of supporting the service user’s life changes and behaviour. 4. The communication and person-centred approach that will be utilised to support a positive experience, supported by the appropriate evidence base. You will be provided with specific case studies on which to focus this assignment. The overall pass mark for this assignment is 40%. A presentation of 5-7 slides will be submitted prior to the group presentation date. Normal penalties will be applied for late submission. Feedback will be given via a level 4 presentations marking grid, from the academic marker. Referral attempts, Extensions, Special Considerations and Non-Submissions Dependent on numbers of students that fit the criteria above, they will either be reallocated to a group to replicate the first attempt submission (Minimum of 5+) or undertake a 1000 word, Level 4 written assignment. This assignment will involve selecting one of the case studies and reflecting on a key psychosocial issue for the service user.


MethodPercentage contribution
Group presentation 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External

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